Bellator to introduce rematch clause

Updated: November 26, 2012, 3:59 PM ET
By Franklin McNeil | ESPN.com

Beginning in 2013, all contracts for Bellator title bouts will include a tentative rematch clause, promotion CEO Bjorn Rebney announced Monday.

The clause allows Bellator officials to schedule a rematch regardless of who wins the title bout. Rebney emphasized that the provision likely will be exercised after an action-packed bout.

Rebney admits that the idea of a championship rematch clause was inspired by his desire to reward mixed martial arts fans with more exciting fights.

"When a fighter's earned a shot at the world title by winning the toughest tournament in sports and competes in a title fight that knocks fans like us back in our seats (win or lose) delivering an incredible fight, when a rematch is called for, we will deliver it," Rebney said in a statement. "Championship fights give us some of the greatest moments in MMA.

"And rematches of incredible championship fights will give fans like us more of those electrifying moments, while staying true to the world's best fighters having had to earn their way to those title shots."

Bellator relies on an eight-man tournament to determine its top contender in each weight class. The tournament winner is guaranteed a title shot.

Spike TV will begin airing Bellator events in January. The promotion's events currently air on MTV2.